#4 Western Oregon vs. #1 Western Washington…
Looks like it’ll tip right around 7:35. We’ll also be paying close attention to the CCAA championship game, which features SFSU and UCSD. We have a situation on our hands that means all of a sudden WWU is back in the discussion of hosting the Regional, which means… Rock meet hard place.
If WWU wins and UCSD loses, there’s no reason not to send the Regional to Whatcom. If WWU wins and UCSD wins, then there’s an interesting discussion to be had. Looking at UCSD’s schedule, they’ve lost three conference games: San Marcos, Chico State, and Sonoma. Chico State is in the tourney, as far as we’re concerned. So is SFSU, regardless as to whether or not they beat UCSD tonight. That implies that UCSD has greater strength of schedule than the Vikings, and that would be true.
The GNAC has been a mess this year, with the sloppy games never seemingly ending. And it was all just stupid sloppy and a lack of commitment to fundamentals by all involved -ick. If Western Washington wins this game, the GNAC should be a one bid league. WWU has conference losses to MSUB, UAF, and UAA. They have wins against everyone else. And yet UCSD has wins against Regional bound teams. While WWU absolutely killed the Tritons in non-con, that was a long time ago.
It’s all moot if WWU loses the championship game -in that case, have fun in San Diego y’all. The good news with that is it means two GNAC teams will be going. Yeah, WWU can make their own schedule look weaker by winning. Go figure.
So, to summarize:
WWU wins, UCSD loses, WWU should host.
WWU wins, UCSD wins, it’ll be a discussion that arguably should favor UCSD.
WWU loses, UCSD wins, we’ll feel comfortable sending the regional to San Diego.
WWU loses, UCSD loses, we’re going to veer on the side that UCSD should host because UCSD beat another Regional-bound team to win, whereas WWU didn’t.
Now let’s preview the WWU vs. WOU game:
Western Washington is the conference regular season champion. They’re a great rebounding team -everyone on that team rebounds. They out-rebounded their opponent 39-26 last night. Um, yeah. That being said: their defense lacks at times; that team that they massively out-rebounded was in it until the very end. They have a lot of very good players, and Taylor Stafford tends to get the glory as their best player, and while he is, there are a lot of other people on this team that do a lot of good things that make what Taylor does possible.
Western Oregon played a 3OT game last night against a UAA team that was missing their key senior post presence in Corey Hammell. Western Oregon’s best player is a guy by the name of Tanner Omlid -notable for getting at least one triple double, keeping his turnovers low, and motivating his teammates whether he’s on the court or on the bench. Tanner Omlid is the best player in the game, period. We’re excited we get to keep him for another year.
That being said: having the best player doesn’t mean you win.
WOU had an impressive number of players last night that were able to be counted on to go in, give the starters a breather, and not get behind, with their best bench player being Demetrius Trammell. He is distinctively their 6th man, so we don’t really consider him a part of their bench. If WOU has to use the bench to tread water, that’s going to be difficult against this Vikings team because the Vikings are approximately nine guys deep, even with a starter out due to injury.
WOU has the most talented player. WWU is deeper. If the Vikings allow Tanner Omlid (and to a degree Demetrius Trammell) to put the rest of the team on their back, the Wolves have a very good shot at winning. If they can eliminate most of the production of those guys, they should be fine.
We honestly don’t have a prediction because the conference has been such a mess, we know both of these teams so well, we know what both are capable of at their best, we know what both are like when they’re playing uninspiredly, and there’s just no telling which two teams out of those four options are going to actually show up tonight.
Good luck to all -we believe in y’all, play hard, be strong, be safe, go GNAC!
Another great night of basketball on the horizon!
#3 WOU @ #2 UAA
We keep thinking WOU is going to pick it up and not be so sloppy and yet each time they’ve continued their sloppiness. Last night they got away with it against MSUB; tonight, it’ll be incredibly hard to get away with it against UAA. UAA has underachieved this year pretty substantially, BUT they’re big, they’re deep, and they’ve got a surprising amount of people in attendance. It seems ludicrous that a school 1800 miles away would have the home court edge, but… here we are.
Prediction: UAA continues their quest for the autobid. No inclination on the score; it won’t be a blowout, but it could be close or it could be moderate.
#4 SMU “@” #1 WWU
Another matter of sloppiness. It’s another one of those situations where unfortunately we trust the underclassmen of WWU over the seniors of SMU. Fred had a crazy amazing game last night, but we’ve never seen him have two back-to-back. SMU was able to cover the glass against CU-PDX, but WWU has a lot of guys that are convincing rebounders. WWU is one of the best teams in the region right now, they’ve answered questions, they’ve gotten lazy at times, but hopefully that final gut check against SPU was all they needed. They just beat SMU last week, so SMU “will be out for blood” and they will definitely boast a homecourt advantage, but we’re thinking not enough of one to make up for the talent advantage WWU has.
Prediction: WWU wins comfortably, if not another blow-out.
Have fun, be safe, play hard, go GNAC!
Interesting. Someone from the conference told us that Concordia couldn’t make the conference tournament and CU-Irvine isn’t allowed in the Pac-West tournament, so no idea what that’s about, but whatever. We get to watch more games with Christopher and Drew, so that’s happy.
Also happy is that every single home team won on senior night and thus… Let’s jump into Saturday’s awesome slate of games:
CWU 72 @ UAA 84
Back and forth for a lot of the game until UAA finally walked it up and put it away. Proud of the Wildcats for hanging around as long as they did and doing their darndest. Experience gained.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points; Dom Hunter had 24 and went 7-8 from the line; Terry Dawn had five boards; Jawan Stepney had 14 points; and Fuquan had just five points, but did grab 10 boards and four fouls. Off the bench Jerome Bryant had five points; and Chris-Michael Garret had five boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had a normal Suki game again, finally, scoring 26 points and grabbing nine boards; Diante Mitchell had 18 points and five boards meanwhile being 7-7 from the line; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points and five boards among a full house of stats; Corey Hammell had 14 boards; and off the bench Ashton Pomrehn had five points and seven boards.
Congrats to both teams on a good game well played -we’ll see the Seawolves in the conference tournament and thanks to the Wildcats for a fantastic season!
MSUB 56 @ WOU 72
Another back and forth game until WOU managed to put it away, at least as we recall. We feel like WOU managed to truly put it out of reach in the last 10 or so minutes, but the MSUB fought really hard.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 15 points and six boards among a full house; Marc Matthews had six boards; Kamal Tall had 12 points and eight boards; Sven Jeuschede had five boards; and off the bench Kendall Denham had nine points and 10 boards, just missing the double-double.
Wolf highlights: Evan Garrison had 10 points; Tanner Omlid had 17 points, eight boards, and five assists along with a full house; Ali had 11 points and six boards; JJ Chirnside had six boards; and off the bench Akil had five points; whilst Demetrius Trammell had 11 points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a senior night won, and congrats to the Yellowjackets on making the conference tournament!
SMU 66 @ WWU 90
Straight up domination, the entire time, no question. This is quite the statement to make to the committee for the Vikings, and we’re really excited about it. They dismantled the Saints. That being said, the conference tournament is still this week and anything can happen. The Vikings are 100% in the NCAA tournament, that’s not a question, but seeding is still up in the air. We think at this point it would be hard for them to earn less than a four seed, but what do we know?
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 16 points; Tyler Copp had 11 points; Fred Jorg played well with 16 points, five rebounds, and four blocks. Off the bench Rhett Baerlocher had 11 boards; and Brandon Kenilvort had five points and five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 25 points; and Jeffrey Parker had 21 points and five boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 10 points; and Deandre Dickson continues to beast with 15 points and 10 boards for the double-double.
Definitely not what we were expecting out of the stat lines for the Vikings with a score like that. SMU did a good job at shutting down Daulton Hommes and Logan Schilder in particular, so that’ll be interesting film to watch for the Vikings opponents. The stats tell a picture of a close game; the score tells a picture of a game that was nowhere near that at any point in time. Interesting stuff. Good luck to both teams in the conference tournament.
SPU 82 @ SFU 93
AHAHAHA. SPU actually tried to win (rather than just playing their seniors), the numbers are all normal, and yet they still lost because we get the feeling no one took it seriously. Good job Clan, ya done us proud!
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards and 18 points; Tony Miller had 18 points and 11 boards; Joe Rasmussen picked up five fouls; Olivier-Paul Betu had eight boards; Gavin Long had 24 points and five fouls; and off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
Clan highlights: Hidde Vos had nine boards and six assists; Michael Provenzano had 15 points; and JJ Pankratz bounced back after a very meh season, to have his way with the Falcons dropping 24 points on great shooting. Off the bench Othniel Spence had a fantastic game with 24 points, five boards, and a full house; Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 14 points and four boards; and Tyrell Lewin grabbed four boards.
Congrats the Clan on a very strong finish to the season, and to the Falcons: TGIO. Thank God It’s Over.
NNU 70 @ UAF 73
And UAF gets the win at home on senior night. Terrifying game. Very fun. Congrats to the Crusaders on a great season, being in the hunt for the conference tournament through the very last game.
Crusader highlights: Pol Olivier had 12 points; Jayden Bezzant grabbed five boards; Bouna had 20 points; Kaileb Rodriguez (can we make K-Rod a thing?) picked up five fouls; Maurice Jones was insane (please come back Mo!!!!!!!) and had 23 points and 18 boards while playing 40 minutes; and Marko Lepovic had five boards off the bench.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had six assists while playing 40 full minutes; Bangaly had five boards; LaDonavan Wilder had 14 points and six boards; Zach Pederson had 18 points and eight boards; and Brandon Davis had 22 points, six boards, and five steals while also playing 40 full minutes.
Congrats to both teams on ending with a strong final game of the year!
While there wasn’t a ton of stuff mid-season this year, that means there should be quite a bit post-season. In a year of chaos where no given night meant anything about the next and implications were just as easily false flags, we feel like we know every team really well. There are so many guys on each team that we’re actually excited to talk about, so… That’ll be cool in the coming days.
Player-of-the-week stuff for this week and last is on the horizon, previewing the conference tournament is on the horizon, previewing the conference tournaments for the other two D2 West conferences is on the horizon. POW stuff is probably going to take a backseat. We will put up the final standings chart because we think it’ll go down as one of the most parity filled years of GNAC basketball ever. Lots of blogging still to be done. We’re excited. We’re excited to sit down and really take a long look at the bracketology, both before and after the conference tournaments. Post-season awards, all that good stuff.
The good news with SPU not making the tournament is that these three days of silence is the entirety of our mourning period. For those of you that haven’t been with us in prior years -SPU loses in the NCAA tournament and then the blog goes silent for months. This year we’re not really that depressed because the season itself was so depressing; the end simply brought relief. Now we’re just excited to watch a bunch of other guys that we love throw themselves into what should be a really chaotic and fun March.
All times pacific.
WWU @ NNU @ 6pm
This should actually be a really exciting game -WWU is a great team, NNU loves to step up against great teams when they’re playing at home, we like the skills of both, we believe in the NNU’s home court advantage, and yet right now the Viks are competing for seeding. We’re not convinced seeding in the West Region means anything this year, but it could, and everyone always wants to be a higher seed, right? Still, NNU is all primed and ready for the upset, so… What’ll they do?
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SMU @ MSUB @ 6:30pm
Another game we’re really excited about. SMU and SPU went toe to toe, SPU and MSUB ultimately went toe-to-toe after the Falcons let a blow-out slip through their hands. SMU and MSUB are theoretically really well matched. We believe Preston Beverly is the best player in the game, but think SMU has a lot higher talent level collectively. Altertowitz is a hard place to play and thus…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SFU @ CWU @ 7pm
SFU almost upset NNU. CWU lost to WWU. Wasn’t a blowout, wasn’t close. They lost “comfortably”? Losing is never comfortable, but it wasn’t a bad loss in the slightest. CWU is having to readjust after losing their #2 man that they weren’t quite aware that they relied on so much. Fuquan is amazing, Dom is amazing, but as it turns out: Naim makes all of it work. Can they bounce back from not having him?
Prediction: Pick ’em.
UAA @ WOU @ 7:30
Game of the night. It should be insane. Both teams need a win. Monmouth is a difficult place to play in, but we believe in the talent of this UAA team. At the same time -we believe in WOU because if you have Tanner Omlid, you’ve got a shot at winning any game -especially at home, and especially with parity being the rule of the day.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
UAF @ CU-PDX @ 8:15pm
No idea. Absolutely no idea. CU-PDX has started to look amazing but UAF just gave a very good WOU team all it could handle. No telling what’s going to happen.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Yup. All pick ’ems. We’ll see. Nightlights? Maybe.
All times pacific.
SPU @ MSUB @ 4:15pm
Who knows? Not us. SPU just lost a game to SMU by a mere three, even while having a couple of massive scoring droughts. MSUB just got swept by the Alaska schools, which is no fun. It’s hard to play at MSUB, SPU/MSUB is rivalry-ish, which is beyond strange. The schools have been playing each other for a long time, the last several years both have almost entirely bald coaching staffs meanwhile being travel partners, and the games have been crazy intense. On the one hand we’re like “MSUB is so skilled, they’re amazing, they’re at home, they’re going to win.” And yet SPU is making a push and regardless as to what can or cannot happen, it’s important to finish strong.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SFU @ NNU @ 6pm
SFU just got a nice win over WOU. NNU just got swept by Spartin. NNU is playing at home and is a good team and we tend to think they’ll win, but this is a year that anything can and will happen, so… The potential for SFU to get the win is definitely there.
Prediction: NNU wins -no idea on the score.
UAF @ WOU @ 7:30pm
WOU flat out needs to bounce back after the SFU and WWU losses, UAF wants to win, but the Wolves should be entirely fired up at this point. Every game is a pick ’em if you ask us, but this is one that the Wolves should pull out -homecourt, blah blah. It’s not that UAF isn’t 100% capable of beating them even in these circumstances, it’s that there are likely too many guys at WOU that are ready to simply WILL the Wolves to a win.
Prediction: WOU -no idea on the score.
WWU @ CWU @ 8pm.
CWU doesn’t have Naim Ladd and so there’s a desire amongst that fanbase to think the sky is falling. We relate, but in this case we don’t agree. First and foremost: Y’all have Fuquan. Second of all: This is a rivalry game. This is a big, massive, huge, crazy, insane, best-game-of-the-year level rivalry game. This is the Apple Cup of D2 basketball. Anything can and will happen. Still, we’re going to go against our gut:
Prediction: WWU wins.
UAA @ CU-PDX @ 8:15pm
Concordia is a good team, but UAA has far more to play for. The GNAC champ doesn’t get the autobid by any means, but UAA should be in “kill everyone” mode, especially before a big game against WOU on Saturday. Will they over look the Cavs? Again, it’s not a matter of the Cavs not being able to beat the Seawolves, it’s a matter of ‘who sees this win as live or die?’ maybe that’s Concordia, but more likely it’s Anchorage. We’re curious to see how Drew and Christopher Edwards do against an elite rebounding team like the Seawolves.
Prediction: UAA wins.
Should be a great night of basketball. Tweet at us if you want.
The season is dimming, bubbles are shifting, and it’s time to regularly take a look at what’s going on with the other two conferences.
For our new readers, a Summary:
In NCAA Division II basketball, the Big Dance is literally split up Regionally. That means we know our potential post season opponents 24/7 365.25 days a year. For us in the West Region, it includes schools in the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA -see the “Cast of Characters” tab if you want to know who each specific school is.
The #1 seed in the Regional, generally speaking, hosts. If the #1 seed isn’t in the main 48, then the Regional is split between a school in the main land and then the #1 seeded school.
We’ve joked that we wanted to see a year in which the seeding was:
5. Hawaii Pacific
7. Simon Fraser
Not because we hate the CCAA by any stretch, but just because those schools are the most remote and spread out locations, with the added bonus of SFU, the only metropolitan location, requiring a passport and Canada having a history of not allowing players from certain countries.
For all of y’all, remember: We’re used to knowing things. Last year we put up a prognostication, Bit-o-Baca put up a prognostication, and then the committee produced the actual Bracket, and not only were all of the teams the same for all three, all of the match-ups were the same, while all of the seedings were different. Usually we have a pretty good grasp as to what’s going on -not this year.
That being said: WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII. Maybe; and not us personally, but the Regional should be split in terms of being hosted by Hawaii Pacific and Cal Baptist.
Chico State imploded this weekend. They’re still great, their bubble didn’t burst in the slightest, but they’re no longer in contention to host after losses to both Sonoma (rivalry!) and San Francisco State. SF State is legit and we get that rivalry is as rivalry does, but there are teams that haven’t faltered. Don’t let certain trends fool you -getting the nod to specifically host the Regional is ridiculously hard. All that being said:
What’s your opinion on the #1 Seed hosting the Regional?
Honestly, we don’t think it’s fair when an LA school hosts it and other LA schools get to play in it. This year if it does get split between CBU and HPU, we’d like to see no other Hawaii school playing in Hawaii and no other SoCal school playing in SoCal, but it won’t happen because on the surface it doesn’t make financial sense. There’s a legitimate argument that even when WWU hosted the tournament, the SPU games were dead -even though SPU is only two hours away.
Our legitimate argument is that if the tournament was consistently hosted in a central location that already has good fans and good infrastructure, it would become a big thing yearly for the locals to be excited about attending. We host our conference tournament at SMU every year and it’s great. The location is central located, the facility is nice, parking is easy, and the locals actually come out and watch non-SMU teams play.
What school could/would do that on a Regional level?
Easy: Chico State.
They have a strong men’s basketball program and athletic department, they make the tournament regularly, it’s a big gymnasium, their locals genuinely care about basketball, they’ve got the best radio play-by-play guy in D2, and location wise it’s perfect:
-It’s at least an hour drive for every other NorCal school.
-It’s six to eight hours for the SoCal schools.
-It’s 10-12 hours for most of the GNAC schools.
Entirely driveable for the vast majority of teams. Alaskas, Hawaiis, and MSUB being the exception. Every other school IN THE ENTIRE REGION can drive there within 13 hours.
In D2, you have to look at your primary target demographics as to who actually is attending the games. In reality, it’s parents of players and locals. Chico State has great locals and is a good location for the vast majority of West Region parents. Literally the only knock on Chico is that there’s not a super convenient major airport, but that’s true with almost every school. The only schools that have convenient major airports are Dominican, Dominguez-Hills-ish, and Concordia-Portland. Every other location is either remote (see: Honolulu and Anchorage) and/or you need a car.
Chico hosting permanently won’t happen, and we’re honestly fine with the #1 seed hosting, but it is an interesting discussion none-the-less.
What’s your current bracket?
Ooooh, good question. We’ll be honest: We haven’t paid any attention to rankings this year, because we figure we know better than the voters. “All you’ve said for months is that you don’t know.” Exactly. Any ranking someone comes up with regarding schools in the D2 West is completely meaningless because the vast, vast, vast majority of games are pick ’ems, even when the game ends up being a blow out. MSUB beat WWU, got killed by SMU, and then blew out a very good and proven CWU at CWU. Oookay. Nothing makes any sense. Literally 10 teams are still in the running for making the conference tournament, that’s how much parity there is.
|D2 West Bracketology|
|1||CBU||HPU||Beat CBU recently.|
|2||HPU||CBU||Lost to HPU recently.|
|3||WWU||SFSU||Beat Chico State, non-con continues to look impressive.|
|4||UCSD||UCSD||Best non-con in the CCAA, even with a loss to Chico.|
|5||Chico||Sonoma||Legit wins against Chico and UCSD.|
|6||CWU||UAA||Currently up on WWU by half a game and they split in their meetings.|
|7||Dixie||Dixie||Hasn’t yet played HPU/CBU.|
|8||SFSU||WWU||Swept by the Alaska schools, Texas A&M Commerce is 7-5 in conference.|
At this point we don’t expect that bracket to hold in the slightest because there are too many games left to be played and all three conferences are clouded in parity. It’s great, eh? CWU is currently out but we don’t necessarily expect them to stay out either because one of the schools in another conference loses twice or because they procure wins at the Alaska schools or something as such. There’s still tons of variability, but it is fun to look at a snapshot of what things look like this week, and we had a blast looking at our seeding from two weeks ago simply because it’s never not a well reason argument, the arguments just change as you get more evidence.
If I’m a CWU fan, should I be freaking out right now?
No. You still get to go play the Alaskas and there are plenty of other difficult and interesting match-ups in the other two conferences as well.
If I’m a UAA fan, should I feel safe?
Absolutely not. Your bubble is a redhead’s skin after 10 hours in the sun without sunscreen. Not only do you still have to face Billings, you still have to face NNU and CWU, plus add in the fact that there are a lot of impressive games that can be won in the CCAA and Pac-West still.
Think we’re a genius? Think we’re an idiot? Have a solid argument as to why we’re slightly wrong? Tell us about it on Twitter or in the comments!
Better late than never. We’ll have a mini blitz today. One of the big things at our own school a couple of years ago was an issue with distractions and… We’ve been distracted. To the two Falcons that actually read this… Shut-up. We’re still really excited about blogging and this weekend was amazing from a conference perspective and there are so many guys that made us ridiculously proud.
We’ll put these up in four separate posts; the two game days, then POW noms and winner, and then actually probably a ‘Discussions’ post because we finally feel that it’s gotten to be too much and at this point we need to have one, even if what it’ll largely consist of is us saying “WE DON’T KNOW.” We’ll get into the whys of what we don’t know.
CWU 61 @ NNU 73
We keep saying NNU has a good home court advantage and we ain’t been lyin’ bout it. Dem Jihadists are good. We have no idea about the bubble implications for CWU either though, that’s something we’ll be discussing later.
Wildcat highlights: Dom Hunter had 27 points and seven boards; Fuquan Niles was held to just two points and 14 minutes, picking up five fouls, and yet grabbing -11- boards in those fourteen minutes, DANG. Off the bench Cameron Burton had eight points on perfect shooting; Jerome Bryant hat five points; and Sage Woodruff had six points. We really like the little bits we keep seeing out of Sage -excited to see what he does in the future, lots of promise.
Jihadist, er, Crusader highlights: BOUNA had 23 points and five boards; Jayden Bezzant had 11 pooints; Kaileb Rodriguez had 10 points and seven boards; and the always great Maurice Jones won the match-up with Fuquan, finishing with 14 points, 12 boards, and five fouls in 24 minutes. We completely forgot they were matching-up and went to a high school game instead; now we’re sorry we missed it. Off the bench Olamilekan Adetunji had a whopping 12 boards.
Exciting game. Proud of the Crusaders -keep your heads up Wildcats, we still believe in you 100%!
SFU 64 @ UAF 77
Simon Fraser was seriously in it for a very, very long time, even leading by 15, before the Nooks managed to put it away and do so convincingly. Ridiculously proud of the Clan, we feel a win is coming… Just when will it be?
Clan highlights: Iziah had 13 points and nine boards; Michael Provenzano had 19 points; JJ Panikratz finally bounced back with 16 points and eight boards; and off the bench Graham Miller had six points.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had 15 points; Bangaly had 23 poitns and nine boards; LaDonavan Wilder had five boards; Zach Pederson had six boards; and Brandon Davis had an amazing game with 16 points, six boards, and seven assists. Off the bench Michael Kluting had seven points and five boards.
SPU 71 @ CU-PDX 81
We haven’t been able to go to any of the protest stuff because we have a really weak immune system, but we figured we could at least take a stand in the tiny part of the world we inhabit by wearing a rainbow flag at a game between two schools that believe gays are going to hell. If you attend a non-SPU/CU-PDX school and want to suggest/have a gay pride night when one of those schools comes and plays your team, we are 100% in support of it. Love is love and if you can play, you can play.
This game was close for a long time and then the Cavaliers dug deep and got the win.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wotten had 21 points and nine boards; Tony Miller had 24 points and 12 boards; Joe Rasmussen had seven boards and five fouls; and Gavin Long had 15 points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a full house including 22 points, eight boards, and five fouls; Christopher Edwards continues to amaze with 14 points and seven boards on almost perfect shooting; Jarrett Gray had 18 points and seven boards; and off the bench Latrell Wilson had a full house including 17 points and four rebounds.
Overall an interesting game, congrats to the Cavs.
MSUB 81 @ NNU 88
The Jihadist homecourt advantage strikes again. Maybe not so surprising against an MSUB team that we have no idea what they’re doing (they’re GOOD, they’re BAD, they’re OKAY!) but it’s still exciting for a fun Crusaders team! We heart Mo, Kaileb, and Bouna (of course!) !!
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly (!!) had 28 points, 11 boards, and -7- blocks; Jace Anderson had 15 points; and Sven had 17 points. Off the bench Kendall Denham had nine points.
Crusader highlights: Bouna played forty full minutes and had 25 points and nine boards; Pol Olivier had seven boards; Kalieb Rodriguez had an incredible 35 points and 11 boards; and Maurice Jones had 14 points and 13 boards. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj proved his worth scoring five points on 5/6 shooting from the charity stripe -make ’em count Nikola! Nicely done.
Ridiculously excited about the play of both teams, MSUB is looking more like themselves, NNU is finding an identity at just the right time in a year when nothing has truly been determined as of yet. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
SMU 73 @ WOU 82
It’s hard to play in Monmouth and the Saints did their darndest but couldn’t get it done against their formal travel partner. Former rival? Is that a thing? Meh. Doesn’t have the same sentiment as MSUB/SPU. Go figure.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had nine points; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 16 points; and Fred Jorg had five boards. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 13 points. Trey Ingram and Kendall Denham -twinning.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a full house with 23 points, five boards, and six steals amongst other stats; Ali had 13 points and five boards; JJ Chirnside continues to turn it up with 15 points and eight boards; and off the bench Demetrius only played 21 minutes but made them count, scoring 16 points.
Close game, relatively intense game, the Saints play was meh and the Wolves play was uninspired initially but they managed to get inspired and procure a good win. Congrats Wolves!
WWU 79 @ UAA 87
Home den advantage. It is freaking hard to play in Alaska. Everyone says it, WWU is a very good team and they just exemplified it. Anchorage is also a really good team -they’ve been underachieving, so don’t let their record fool you; they’re incredibly good.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford played 40 full minutes and had 21 points and eight assists; Logan Schilder had five boards; Dualton Hommes played 40 full minutes and had 13 points and nine boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 14 points. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had another big game with 17 points and six boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 32 points on good shooting; Diante Mitchell had a whopping 25 points; Corey Hammell had a nutso 15 boards; and Connor Devine had 11 points. oFf the bench Ashton Pomrehn had six points.
Lived up to the hype of being game of the night. Congrats to both teams on a battle well fought.
Awesome night of basketball. Nights like these remind us why we love the GNAC and D2 basketball so much -any given night.
Conference Game Day #14 up soon.
…………………………………………….. That’s what we have to say about this last weekend’s games and the performances that they entailed. WOW. People are kicking it up into high gear for the 2nd half of the season and it’s amazing.
Here are the player-of-the-week nominations:
UAF: N/A —> Christopher Edwards of CU-PDX; we finally got to watch him in person and he’s much lither than his numbers suggest. Dude is tiny and yet powerful.
UAA: Suki Wiggs. Both SMU and SPU tried their best to contain him and did a relatively adequate job, but here he is -still nominated for POW.
SFU: N/A —> Joe Rasmussen of SPU; has started to actually maybe sorta kinda play the center position a little.
WWU: Deandre Dickson -Bench say what? Imma stomp you. Great energy.
SPU: Tony Miller -lunch pail basketball player.
SMU: Cole Preston -continues to do the pure point guard thing and do it well.
MSUB: Preston Beverly -’nuff said. Willed them to a win against SFU. All y’all Yellowjackets need to back him up more.
CWU: Fuquan -continues to do the pure center thing and we cannot adequately express our adoration in words.
NNU: N/A —> Corey Hammell -squeaked in by boarding well and not shooting while he apparently felt cold and/or considered himself too well defended. Unselfish player, that’s how he ended up with two Ws this weekend.
CU-PDX: Drew Martin -the most Anye-esque player since Anye. For newer readers: Anye was a super skinny, very smiley 6’7 power forward at WWU a couple of years ago.
WOU: Ali -Bey gonna ball.
Winner’ll be up soon.
This was largely written on Wednesday 1/25.
When we last checked in with them, we had the following information:
San Fran State
Who’s still in the run to host?
Chico State -close losses to UCSD and CPP, but that’s it.
UCSD -dropped their last two games to San Marcos and Sonoma.
Hawaii Pacific -shockingly only has one loss. The region getting split is actually starting to look like a possibility.
San Fran State -out; losses to UCSD and Chico, without the SOS from non-con that those schools have.
Cal Baptist -one loss, that being to Dixie State; Dixie State is a really good team; not in the running to host due to losing to CWU, but a good team all the same.
WWU -added, because while they had a questionable non-con, they only have one in conference loss thus far, and are looking super deep.
Do we know who’s hosting?
At this point no.
Prediction: Split regional. Hawaii Pacific and either WWU or Cal Baptist.
WWU is currently playing at Whatcom Community College, and they’re eligible to bid to host the tournament, but unless the Regional gets split, we don’t support it. The gym is just too tiny. We would make the same argument with CU-Portland -the Whatcom and CU-PDX gyms only hold maybe 1200 people, which yeah the non-local rounds tend to be fairly empty, but we worry about opposing fans being able to get Sweet 16 tickets, especially if say we ended up with a WWU/CWU match-up.
100% Guaranteed making the regional as of last check:
San Fran State
Western Washington is definitely still in, but what about the other schools?
Cal Baptist = yes
WWU = yes, 100%.
Chico = yes
San Fran State -downgraded to the bubble, see below.
Hawaii Pacific = Yes; their spot is now officially safe. The only question mark they have is that they beat the Alaska schools in Hawaii; UAF has looked questionable, Anchorage has been good but not the elite team we projected them as before the season, thus non-road wins and not as quality as anticipated.
Here are the bubble teams from before, minus the guaranteeds:
UCSD -100% in provided their skid stops now.
Chico -100% in provided they stay on the trajectory they are now.
San Fran State -bubble team, but a solid bubble; losses to Chico and UCSD, as well as an okay-ish loss to WOU in 3OT in non-con on the road.
East Bay -Now 5-6 in conference.
Cal Baptist -100% in.
Hawaii Pacific -100% in.
Dixie State -true bubble team; they’re really good, their SOS is good, but bubble.
Azusa Pacific -Now 5-6 in conference; relatively good non-con schedule, thus we still see them as a threat for the autobid, but they’re not on the bubble for a bid without it.
Western Washington -100% in; only have a GNAC loss to MSUB.
Central Washington -true bubble team, they’re tied for 2nd in the GNAC right now, but their lack of non-con puts them on the bubble.
Alaska-Anchorage -true bubble team, they’re tied for 2nd in the GNAC and that loss to Hawaii Pacific is looking really good.
Seattle Pacific -we said last time it was their coaching staff; a 40 point loss and they switched it up. We don’t quite consider them turned around, but they’re theoretically no longer in free fall, which they were through the first half of conference play.
Saint Martin’s -they’re in position to make the conference tournament and they need to win it in order to get a bid. They’re good, but they’re very up and down.
MSU-Billings -We have no idea what’s going on with this team. They beat WWU in Bellingham, beat UAA and WOU in Billings, and then lost by 50 to SMU in Lacey. Zoinks. They have good and experienced players with a good and experienced coaching staff, plus super soph Preston Beverly, but………….. What’s going on??
Not sure where WOU was on that list last time, but we will note now that they’re definitely a threat to get the conference autobid. They’re finding themselves again after being rather up and down.
At half way through conference play, who are you eight teams in the tournament?
San Fran State
1. Cal Baptist co-host
2. Hawaii Pacific co-host
3. Western Washington
4. UC San Diego
5. Chico State -this feels low, but UCSD non-con + head to head.
6. Central Washington
7. Dixie State
8. San Fran State -good schedule
We went with the co-hosting, because while HPU has lost to Cal Baptist, Cal Baptist lost to Dixie, which is in the 2nd half of the seeds and has a loss to CWU, thus we feel that it could be merited to split the Regional. We’re fine with Cal Baptist hosting, we’re certainly not trekking out to Hawaii, but for now we’re going with the split -maybe just because it would be a bit exciting. West Coast Pride, split regional, unique to us because as far as we know there’s no Puerto Rico teams in a conference -they’re all independent.
What’s your crazy prediction?
That three unexpected teams get the autobids. We couldn’t tell you who in the other two conferences, but in the GNAC every single team that makes the conference tournament will be seen as a threat. Lucky for WWU, they should be safe regardless. There’s a ton of implications within the bubble teams, basically:
UCSD lost to WWU (quality)
Dixie lost to CWU (quality)
UAA lost to HPU (quality)
UCSD lost to Chico (quality)
SFSU lost to WOU (quality-ish)
And then CBU lost to Dixie, but quality loss and quality win, respectively.
The thing with that mess is we couldn’t tell you which bubbles would burst if three unexpected teams got the autobids. SFSU, Dixie, and maybe CWU? CWU has a pretty strong bubble (that’s a good thing) because they’ll have a lot of head-to-heads with a potential GNAC bubble burster that gets the autobid, and then the victory over Dixie State. If Azusa gets the autobid in the Pac-West that would speak even more to CWU not having their bubble burst. But Chico is amazing, WWU is amazing, and that doesn’t even get into CBU and HPU.
The one knock on Chico is lack of SOS, which is the same knock on HPU, which calls our prediction of CBU into hosting into question, because if Chico gets the nod it’ll only be Chico. Chico’s only black mark on their schedule is the lack of SOS. Otherwise they’re golden. Same with WWU. WWU even has a coveted in-region road victory against a most-likely tournament bound team in UCSD -and that wasn’t close; they blew the Tritons out big.
Overall, we still feel like we really don’t know anything, which is odd, but when we feel like we do know something, y’all’ll be the first to find out.
Everything’s a day late. We’ll do POW tomorrow. Thanks for all of your views yesterday, though. Saturday was a fun night. We got to the WWU/Anchorage game with like 16 clock minutes left, but it was still 150% worth it.
And yes: we drove 70 minutes each way just to watch 35 minutes worth of a basketball game. We did the same thing on Tuesday because being on time wasn’t our thing this past week.
NNU 72 @ MSUB 77
MSUB pulled it out, but NNU gave a good fight.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye played a full forty minutes, finishing with a full house and a double double highlighted by 11 boards; Pol Olivier had 13 points; Kaileb Rodriguez had 13 points and five fouls; and Maurice Jones had 16 points, 12 boards, and five fouls for the power forward’s dream. Now he just needs to stop taking threes and we’ll have no crap to give him. Off the bench Marko Lepovic had five points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preson Beverly had 18 points and 13 boards; Marc Matthews had 22 points; and off the bench Kendall Denham had 10 points.
Maurice Jones continues to impress and Kendall… We’re not sure what happened. He seemingly has regressed every year. Instinct says that he needs to get out of his own head, but who knows.
UAF 88 @ SFU 83
See: We believe in SFU, but do not trust SFU. That is this score.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 16 points and six boards; Bangaly had 14 points, five boards, and five fouls in a fairly quiet night, Zach Pederson was impressive with six boards and 22 points; Brandon Davis had 14 points and five boards; and off the bench Lorenzo Graham had 11 points.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano as dynamite with 19 points on good shooting; Gibran Sewani had five boards; and JJ Pankratz had 19 points and seven boards. Off the bench Kedar Wright had sixteen points.
Not the cleanest game, but it was what it was. Road victory for the Nooks, woo-hoo!
CU-PDX 83 @ SPU 88
Don’t mistake the score for teams playing well, or at least not the Falcons playing well; this was a choke job on par with the UAA @ CWU game. SPU’d go up by a lot, get complacent, the Cavs would rightfully take advantage, and then the cycle repeated itself. Twice. At least. Next year the Falcons won’t be able to do that -the Cavs will win the game. Came close this time.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 23 points, five boards, five assists, and three steals; Bryan Michaels had 18 points and five assists; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Christopher Edward had six boards; and off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five boards, four assists, and five fouls.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 27 points and nine boards; Tony Miller had 11 boards and was 7-9 from the line; Joe Rasmussen FINALLY (seven years later) realized he’s 6’8 and weighs 240lbs and scored 22 points while grabbing eight boards; Olivier-Paul Betu had 10 points; and Gavin Long had 11 points.
Yeesh. No comment beyond you did your darndest Cavs, you’ll return the favor next time.
WOU 80 @ SMU 67
We had no idea what this game would do, and therefore this result isn’t surprising because nothing would have been surprising except the Saints blowing out the Wolves. This isn’t a blowout; it’s a nice comfortable, steady state win. We like it. We approve. Nicely done Wolves!
Wolf highlights: Akil Reese had 12 points; Tanner Omlid had a full house including multiples of every category and 18 points; and Ali Faruq-Bey had seven boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 14 points; and JJ Chirnside (we haven’t said that name in a while) had a double double with 13 and 11. Welcome back to the world of the mentions, JJ. We’re excited.
Saint highlights: Trey Ingram played a full 40 minutes and had 15 points; Cole Preston also played 40 minutes and had 15 points and six boards; Jordan Kitchen had nine boards; Tyler Copp played some mad defense but took too many shots; and Fred Jorg impressed again with eight boards and 19 points. Off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had six boards.
Hard fought game via the numbers, but WOU while they’re not as good as expected are still clearly progressing and a very, very good team.
UAA 84 @ WWU 91
The feeling walking out of this one was interesting. It felt unfinished. It felt nice to get redemption and actually have WWU win because I think on both sides there was awareness that the Viks should have won last year and so now it’s resolved and there can be a “real” game in Anchorage, hence the unfinished. These teams still need to battle for real this year.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell had a good shooting night and ended up with 20 points; Spencer Svejecar had 18 points; Corey Hammell had 10 boards but wasn’t used nearly as much as he should have been (in our humble opinion); and off the bench Augustus Simmers had ive points and Damien Fulp had six points.
The Vikings kept the Seawolves remarkably quiet for how close the game was. Those numbers are unsettling on a lot of levels.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford played a full 40 minutes and had 32 points and five boards while being 8-8 from the line; Daulton Hommes had 17 points, five boards, and a full house; Jeffrey Parker had 21 points while being 6-6 from the line; and off the bench Deandre Dickson had seven points.
The Vikings shot 94% from the line while the Seawolves shot just 65%. There’s your answer. Can’t wait to watch these two teams meet up again…
Some really, really good games. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the coming week. POW nominations and announcement up in the AM.